Systemic administration of antibiotics prior to surgery in patients who have been on corticosteroid therapy may significantly reduce the incidence of deep infections, a surgeon from Yale University reports.
Infection has been known to be a common complication of longterm steroid therapy due in part to the inhibition of antibody formation. Generally, physicians have begun antibiotic therapy after surgery when infection is evident.
Mark A. Hayes, MD, has shown, however, that the infection process may be initiated in the lymph nodes of such patients prior to surgery. His studies suggest that antibiotic therapy is more effective if started before surgery and continued during and after surgery.
The management program he uses has not resulted in any postoperative deep infections in a series of 42 patients.
Dr. Hayes, a member of a panel on the complications of corticosteroid therapy at a meeting of the American College of Surgeons, Bal Harbour, Fla,